Last night had been perfect.
An indulgent dream without repercussions. Sure, there might’ve been a bit more… uhh, intimacy at the end than Rhett had anticipated in conscious hours, but whatever, right? That’s kinda the point; the dreams don’t count. They’re just an outlet for whatever’s clawing up the walls of his brain… which might involve a little kissing, it seems.
And hell, even if he accidentally moans Link’s name in bed, it’s now clear that Link wouldn’t feel okay bringing that up. (If he ever does, Rhett will lie and say he can’t recall what the dream was about; that’d been the truth up until recently, anyway.)
Either way, it’s a good system. He gets to keep living with Link, and neither of them have to be uncomfortable about it.
Basking in the glow of it all, Rhett sits on the floor of their room and munches away on a bag of Cheetos, enamored with a Netflix show about magic tricks. Been a while since he’s felt this carefree, licking cheesy dust from his fingers like he’s never heard of pant legs.
Even Link’s return doesn’t dampen the mood, despite him standing in the doorway with an impossibly judgmental scrunch.
“Welcome home,” Rhett chirps.
“Are you sitting in the floor eating Cheetos?” asks Link, and Rhett examines himself in his crisscross position.
“Is that a trick question?”
“While I was at the gym working out, you sat here and ate chips?”
“It’s Saturday morning.”
“ Yeah. That’s kinda the point. Should get up and do somethin’, man.”
“Okay, Mom.” Rhett rolls his eyes.
Link hunches where he stands, shaking out his damp hair. Warm flecks of moisture hit Rhett’s knees and he hisses in disdain, “Watch the sweat!”
“S’water. Showered before walking back.”
“Uh-huh.” Rhett goes back to watching his show, though chastised juuust enough to set his snack aside. Link gets changed in his periphery, pulling on sweatpants and a loose tee. Rhett doesn’t try to look; why would he? He knows what Link looks like in undress, has for years now. And the glimpses he gets when he closes his eyes are far more lewd than the real thing.
This plan is good for both of us.
Link lets out a long sigh before creaks and bumps announce his ascent to the top bunk. He settles onto his bed and ends the transition with a second sigh.
“Work out too hard?”
“Kinda. I dunno,” Link says quietly, and Rhett leans back on the bed to stare up at the ceiling in lieu of eye contact.
“Just… umm. I’ve been tryna think of this… word for a specific thing, and I can’t think of it. It’s kinda drivin’ me crazy. On the tip of my tongue.”
“Did you Google it?” Rhett asks, and Link’s silence speaks volumes—enough that Rhett bobs his head back into the mattress in tickled amusement. “Not somethin’ you’d know how to word?”
“It’s… I’m, uh…”
Rhett wrinkles his nose. “It ain’t like… a medical thing, is it? You find a lump?”
“No!” Link cries, chuckling, and the top half of his head pokes over the rail of his bunk to stare down at Rhett. “It is embarrassing, though.”
“Is it a lady-parts question?” Rhett grins, and Link grabs his pillow, threatening wrath from the heavens. “Spill it, man. I bet I'll know.”
Link presses his lips thin. “Okay, so like… you know when you go into a stall? Like… in a bathroom? And—I’m not sayin’ I’ve seen this in person before, but like—in movies and stuff, sometimes there’s… like... a hole in the wall…?”
Rhett’s entire face furrows, and Link bursts into laughter, slinking away from view.
“Are you talkin’ about a fuckin’ gloryhole?”
“Gloryhole!!” Link wails, groaning with relief. “Oh, gosh, thank you. That was gonna bug me all day.”
“No no no.” Shaking his head hard, Rhett rubs his temples and gawks at the TV. “No, you’re gonna tell me what the hell had you thinkin’ about somethin' like that in the first place!”
“Oh.” Link’s chuckling tapers out, and after a deep breath, he mmms. “Bein’ in the gym showers… I dunno, it popped into my head. Y’know, those showers have stalls, and—well, tangents of thought and all.” Rhett’s suddenly glad Link can’t see him anymore. He draws his knees to his chin.
While his dreams may cross lines with no thought of repercussions—unabashed and raunchy—he would be wise to darken that line with a marker in his waking hours. Best not to get too carefree when discussing this shit.
“Was… was there a gloryhole in your shower stall…?” Rhett asks, hoping that sounds normal enough.
“No! Of course not, you think they’d let that kinda property damage happen on campus?!”
“I dunno! Why else would you think about it?!”
“Just—bein’ in stalls, I said that part already!”
Grip tight on his legs, Rhett’s ready to let the conversation die—until Link pipes up, lilting and playful. “How’d you have that word ready to go anyway...?”
Definitely not because I just visited a sex shop with gloryhole booths.
Shit, what’s most believable?
“Porn,” Rhett states with a shrug, and Link huffs from the ceiling and shuffles. He’s probably staring down at Rhett again, but Rhett ain’t gonna take that bait and meet his gaze.
“Bullshit. You don’t watch porn.”
“You been checkin’ my internet history?”
“...You really watch porn?”
“Everyone watches porn, Link.”
“ I don’t.”
“Now I’m calling bullshit.”
“...You watch gloryhole porn?” Link presses, and Rhett’s neck heats unpleasantly.
“No! I mean… I don’t think so?”
“ ‘I don’t think so’? ”
“Well, yeah! Once you’re so far gone, you don’t—you don’t keep track, you just kinda… follow whichever video your dick’s pointin’ to,” Rhett grumbles and cools his palms on the floor while Link ingests this information. He isn’t sure he wants to give him an opportunity to continue this line of questioning, so he turns it around. “You really don’t watch porn?"
“What about that magazine we found in the woods?”
“You were way more excited about that thing than I was,” Link snarks, smile in his voice.
“Then how do you, like… get off?”
There’s a beat of silence where Rhett thinks he’s asked too much of the moment, but Link makes an I dunno noise in his throat. “I use my imagination.”
Well, I know that. The last time he jacked off, he didn’t even have his phone on him.
That was the last time he jacked off… right?
Oh, gosh, what if he’s been doing it every time I’ve left him alone?
Rhett doesn’t like that thought, but doesn’t want to address why that might be. Clearing his throat to shush away mental images, Rhett says, “So what, you’re just… real basic in your fantasies? Your mattress stories make way too much sense, man.”
“H-Hey!” Something soft bounces off Rhett’s head—one of Link’s socks. Eugh. “There’s nothing wrong with basics. They get the job done.”
“Sure, man,” Rhett shakes his head, kicking away the projectile.
“Well… okay, then. Say I did want to fantasize about something a little more wild,” Link prefaces, and Rhett checks in with himself: this is dangerous territory. He’s pretty sure he’s awake, and he’s pretty sure this is some thin-ass ice he’s walking on. “What would you recommend?”
“I’d recommend you watch porn, dude,” gruffs Rhett. But Link snorts derisively.
“Someone’s embarrassed,” Link sings. “Fine, how ‘bout this: since we were talkin’ about it already, could you explain to me, like… how a gloryhole works?”
How a gloryhole “works?”
“What’s there to get?” Rhett scoffs and pulls himself up from the floor to fall back onto his bed, jostling Link on the top bunk with a surprised noise. He lays back and cushions his head with his arms, staring at the underside of Link’s mattress. “It’s a hole in a wall. Dude puts their dick through it, and someone… you know. Gets ‘im off.”
More quiet while Link processes. Rhett laces his fingers over his chest, the accidental tutor to Link’s—and Rhett's still not really buying it—innocence. “And like… it’s usually a girl, right?”
“I mean. There’s no set, like…” Struggling, Rhett runs a hand over his face. “That’s not the point, I think.”
“It’s the anonymity of it that people like so much, man. It’s just a hole with some person on the other side. Could be anyone. That's why it's hot.”
“So you’ve thought about it before.”
“I’m just tryin’ to explain it to you!”
“Thought about it enough to decide which side of the hole you’d like to be on.”
Rhett nearly reaches to grab the rail of Link’s bed and do a pull-up just so Link can see the bewilderment on his face. “Dude,” Rhett starts, voice nearly cracking. “If I were on the other side of the hole, I’d be… you know?!”
“Oh,” Link blurts, and god dammit if humiliation from the blunder isn’t clear in his tone. “Right, I—yeah. Right.”
Link… Link doesn’t see a problem with being on the other side of the hole.
Rhett might actually combust. Every part of him rails with blush and heat, threatening to burn a man-shaped hole down through his bed as he twiddles his fingers and stews on the revelation. When a sliver of a memory—barely there, living on the fringes of his mind—swoops in and nicks him, it burns so much hotter than it had the first time Rhett had heard it all those nights ago:
If there’s a benevolent God out there in the universe, Link won’t look down right now; Rhett’s pretty sure he’s going to pass out from flush, red enough to blend in at an orchard.
Is Link into guys…?
Down on his knees, some—some stranger’s cock poking through for him, already hard and waiting for lips around it.
...What kind of blow job would Link give? I experienced it last night, but in reality...?
The dreams had been close to truth, in the past; and Link never half-asses anything.
Coaxing a cock to come down his throat, not knowing or caring whose body it belongs to.
Could even be someone he knows.
He’s okay with the prospect of that.
“Rhett? You, uhh... still with me?”
And then Rhett’s blinking, trying not to imagine those words coming to him from the other side of a thin wall. “Ye—” his voice gives out, and he nods, coughing a bit too hard. “Yeah. Was lookin’ at my phone.”
“...You lookin’ at porn?” Link ribs, and Rhett shoos him off with an airy groan.
“Won’t be lookin’ at it for a long while, thanks to you. Mister Curious.”
If only Link knew how truthful that was; already, Rhett knows what he wants to dream about tonight, and he’s going to smother his every thought with the obsessive idea to try to steer his brain in the right direction.
Sure enough, when Rhett re-joins consciousness in the dead of night, he remembers it.
He remembers stalls and an inviting little hole.
He remembers being alone except for a presence waiting for him on the other side.
He remembers hesitating—because even though anonymity is the point and Link might have let slip that he was okay with whomever fucking his throat, Rhett doesn’t share that promiscuity.
He remembers trying to steal a peek through the hole and seeing nothing, and the wall being too tall to peer over, connecting to the floor as well.
He remembers opening the door to his stall, desperate, and trying to open the one next to his. He just wanted to be sure.
He remembers strong-arming the feeble lock separating them, and the darkness of the stall within, like his brain had forgotten to color in that page.
What he doesn’t remember in the dream is Link .
And with that, a crushing sense of sadness washes over him as he lays in their dark room in the middle of the night. Like Rhett had bullied Link out of the never-ending cycle he’d only now come to appreciate simply by trying too hard to will his emissions one way or another.
Do I only dream of him when I don’t force it…?
So I have no real say in what I want to happen when I’m asleep.
Scenarios just kinda happen to me.
Rhett sucks his teeth, listens to Link’s light snores in the dark. Turns on his side and grabs his phone, pulling it free of his charger and snuggling into the covers with it.
When the Chrome app loads, he opens a new incognito tab and types in the search bar: controlling your dreams.
And one phrase appears in multiple results, jumping out at him from the lines of text: